We grow smaller
as the moon falls closer.
My old Aunt Vicki is afraid to go out in the night.
She pulls the curtains and shades turns on every light in the house.
Aunt Vicki does not want to be swallowed by the moon.
Vicki swallowed Uncle Edward when he married her.
He just disappeared into the folds of her big round belly.
Edward was busy in there somewhere, at least twice.
They had two daughters who turned out alright
despite their carnival background.
Uncle Henry Red Jacket Bird was a full blooded Lakota.
So he wasn’t really our uncle but he did odd jobs on the farm
in between stays in the county lockup.
Everyone called him Uncle Red.
In town, at the bar, the whore house and the sheriff’s office
he was also called the drunk tank warrior.
He was once in a movie with Clint Eastwood.
After Uncle Edward died Vicki had Red board up all the windows.
Now she was also concerned about being consumed by the sun.
Day and night she stayed shuttered up in her trailer.
Everyone worried and tried to convince her to come out
but Red was the only one she would trust or listen to,
he brought her KFC every Friday for dinner.
One Friday fresh from the drunk tank Red parked his truck outside the trailer.
He set the bucket of chicken on the hood.
Then he built a fire. Small at first, Red slowly made the fire wider and higher
until he had created a magnificent blazing bonfire.
Again moving slowly Uncle Red began to circle the fire.
Softly he chanted Hey-ya hey-ya hey-yaya-hey.
Then she appeared, Aunt Vicki came out of her trailer wearing an overcoat,
ski mask, gloves and carrying an umbrella. Red is that you? Red?
What’re ya doin’ Red? Red?
Hey-ya hey-ya hey-yaya-hey.
Well this is a poem not a novel so one thing led to another and eventually
Uncle Red Jacket Bird and Aunt Victoria Overcoat MacDaws
were eating chicken and circling the fire Hey-ya hey-ya hey-yaya-hey.
We all took to calling Red the Colonel after that, even the sheriff did.
My old Aunt Vicki never did get over her fear
of being eaten by celestial objects but she could be coaxed out of the trailer
by a warm fire, a bucket of extra crispy and a bit of Hey-yaya-hey.